Contracts

Commercial contracts and subcontracts

Contracts for building work must be in writing and includes:

  • head contracts;
  • subcontracts;
  • sub-subcontracts;
  • Subcontracts for domestic building work; and
  • all contracts for commercial building work between developers, builders and subcontractors.

This also applies to contracts for building work between a contractor and an Owner Builder Permit holder. Different requirements apply to contracts that are made directly with homeowners for domestic building work.

What do I need to include in the contract?

  • the scope of the work covered by the contract
  • when the work is to be completed
  • the amount to be paid for the work (or how the amount is to be calculated)
  • details of any agreement between the parties about retentions and securities
  • the name and licence numbers of the building contractors
  • the address of the site where the work is being carried out
  • the name and contact details of the parties involved
  • the timing of payments for the contracted work
  • a procedure for dispute resolution.

The following contracts are free to download and contain all the required information. They can be used for both domestic and commercial subcontracting:

Does the contract have to be in writing before commencing work?

Contracts for building work over $10,000 must be in writing before work starts. If the building work is valued at $10,000 or less, the contract must be in writing before the work is completed.

When is a contract not required?

Generally, work valued at less than $3,300 is not classed as building work and therefore doesn't require a written contract. However, work of any value involving plumbing, drainage, gasfitting, design drafting, completed building inspections, site classification, fire protection and pest controlling must be recorded in a written contract.

How long do I keep the contract and associated documents?

You must ensure that all contract documentation, including related plans and specifications, are kept for seven years from the date the documents were put into writing.

What if I don’t comply?

If you don't put a contract in writing, or you enter into a contract that doesn't contain the requirements stated in the QBCC Act, you commit an offence. We may prosecute or take disciplinary action and you could accrue demerit points.